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GCSE Option Advice - Languages

Hi! I am in year 9 and my school made us submit GCSE choices at the start of last half term. Alongside all the usual subjects, my school forces us to study all 3 individual sciences, further maths, a humanity, and language (as well as 2 free choices). At this time I chose history, French, Spanish, and computer science, which I was happy with because I really like languages (unpopular opinion). Recently however, my French teacher told me that he also speaks Russian, and that this year my school were also running a Russian course as well for GCSE, which they usually don’t offer, and asked me if it is something I would be interested in. I have absolutely no prior knowledge of Russian (and the course would mainly have people who already speak it a bit), but have looked at it and think it looks interesting, and so this has left me a bit confused as to what to pick. I would have to replace it for one subject I have already chosen (so either French, Spanish, or CS), and don’t know whether to either take 3 languages, or to drop 1 of them (which I am already quite good at), so don’t know what to swap or whether to even take it at all. What should I do?
Original post by Charliehugh8
Hi! I am in year 9 and my school made us submit GCSE choices at the start of last half term. Alongside all the usual subjects, my school forces us to study all 3 individual sciences, further maths, a humanity, and language (as well as 2 free choices). At this time I chose history, French, Spanish, and computer science, which I was happy with because I really like languages (unpopular opinion). Recently however, my French teacher told me that he also speaks Russian, and that this year my school were also running a Russian course as well for GCSE, which they usually don’t offer, and asked me if it is something I would be interested in. I have absolutely no prior knowledge of Russian (and the course would mainly have people who already speak it a bit), but have looked at it and think it looks interesting, and so this has left me a bit confused as to what to pick. I would have to replace it for one subject I have already chosen (so either French, Spanish, or CS), and don’t know whether to either take 3 languages, or to drop 1 of them (which I am already quite good at), so don’t know what to swap or whether to even take it at all. What should I do?


Are you fluent in spanish or french because I know a few people that have taken a language in year 10 which meant they could do an extra GCSE. If that is the case maybe you could take your spanish/french exam with the year 11s next year which gives you more time to focus on russian.

It also depends on your current grades because you don't want to put other subjects in danger of bad grades for the sake of an extra GCSE. If you are getting 8s/9s then it could work out but 7s and below isn't a smart idea.

Personally I think spanish is an *easier* language, and if you are thinking about doing languages in the future in college then maybe do all three however if you want to broaden your opportunities I would stick to two languages (spanish and one other) and keep computer science to show flexibility.
Reply 2
Original post by georgiagreen18
Are you fluent in spanish or french because I know a few people that have taken a language in year 10 which meant they could do an extra GCSE. If that is the case maybe you could take your spanish/french exam with the year 11s next year which gives you more time to focus on russian.

It also depends on your current grades because you don't want to put other subjects in danger of bad grades for the sake of an extra GCSE. If you are getting 8s/9s then it could work out but 7s and below isn't a smart idea.

Personally I think spanish is an *easier* language, and if you are thinking about doing languages in the future in college then maybe do all three however if you want to broaden your opportunities I would stick to two languages (spanish and one other) and keep computer science to show flexibility.

I am definitely not fluent but so far my expected grades for both are 9s (so I sadly can’t use that as an excuse). Totally agree that Spanish is an easier language (especially compared to some of my friends who are doing German) and I do think that I will do languages in college, but I really like CS, and have even entered some website making projects in school (I am a bit of a nerd!). I don’t even have to take Russian but it does sound like a great opportunity. Thank you so much for the help!
I've never learned Russian but I've done modules in Polish, and it's absolutely solid, I'm not gonna lie. Plus with Russian you have to learn an entirely new alphabet.

Now I'm with you on the love of languages. I have GCSEs in French, Spanish, and Italian, A-Levels in French and Spanish, and a CertHE in French, plus as mentioned I've studied Polish and I'm currently doing a module in Latin.

However Russian alongside French and Spanish... I think even I would balk at that. I cannot at all imagine Russian being straightforward.
Original post by Charliehugh8
I am definitely not fluent but so far my expected grades for both are 9s (so I sadly can’t use that as an excuse). Totally agree that Spanish is an easier language (especially compared to some of my friends who are doing German) and I do think that I will do languages in college, but I really like CS, and have even entered some website making projects in school (I am a bit of a nerd!). I don’t even have to take Russian but it does sound like a great opportunity. Thank you so much for the help!

Although the russian is a good opportunity- if you are already very good at french and spanish then id stick with those 2. Whilst learning a new language from scratch is do able, russian is one of those where you have to learn a new alphabet too. Plus if the course will have people in who already speak a bit of it then you will already be on the back foot.
You could however learn a bit of it in your spare time if you wanted (and its something extra to put on your CV).

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